NBA Veteran Heaps Praise on New York Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau

Getty Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves has been asked to focus on coaching while others looks for a Jimmy Butler trade.

Tom Thibodeau is the new head coach of the New York Knicks after agreeing to a five-year deal.

“The Knicks are in good hands,” Los Angeles Clippers big man Joakim Noah told me via text message this afternoon from the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Noah has had more than his fair share of time playing for Thibs.

For those keeping score at home: Noah lived his best life while playing for Thibodeau as a member of the Chicago Bulls. A former Knick and native New Yorker by way of Hell’s Kitchen,  Noah was an NBA All-Star in 2013 and 2014 and was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 16: Joakim Noah #55 of the Memphis Grizzlies drives to the basket against Jabari Parker #12 of the Washington Wizards in the second half at Capital One Arena on March 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

During his NBA coaching career with both the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tom Thibodeau has compiled a record of 352 wins and 246 losses. “Thibs is a hard-nosed coach that brings it 24/7,” said Noah.

“As a player, all you want is to be held accountable.”

The ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft out of the Univerity of Florida, Noah led the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Back in March, Noah signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on a 10-day contract. Last month, he signed for the remainder of the season.

A 6’11”, 230-pound center, in 12 seasons, Noah holds career averages of 8.8 points, 2.8 assists and 9.1 rebounds in 667 games with the Bulls, Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies.

Last season, he averaged 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest.

Tom Thibodeau was heavily favored to become the next coach of the Knicks. So was NBA Hall of Famer and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Jason Kidd interviewed for the Knicks head coaching gig, as did ex-Brooklyn Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson.

Currently, the New York Knicks sit in 12th place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings with a 21-45 record. The team does have young studs on their team in rookie, RJ Barrett and big men Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. Hard-nose defense is Thibs’ specialty. Joakim Noah is convinced that his former coach has what it takes. “Thibs will do that,” he told me.

“I’m sure his house is in order and he will be ready for the task. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Tomorrow, the NBA resumes play at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida after the coronavirus pandemic halted NBA basketball on March 11.

22 NBA Teams will compete to fill the league’s 16-NBA playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences with the NBA Finals expected to finish no later than October 13.

The Los Angeles Clippers, Joakim Noah’s team will play Staples Center rivals, Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night on TNT. The Lakers are in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference with a 49-14 record and the Clippers, led by stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, hold a 44-20 record and are in secound place in the NBA’s wild, wild west.